Wily's first ride! (Long, x-post SS)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    hispanic mechanic
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    Wily's first ride! (Long, x-post SS)

    The Wily's first ride was supposed to be San Juan Trail, but Ortega Highway (the only way out there) apparently got washed out in the flooding. Local ride! Fittingly, it's also the place where I've seen the most coyotes here in California. Should feel right at home
    I was a bit worried that the trails were too wet, and that we'd damage them, but the North County riders assured me that they'd stay off the sensitive trails, only riding singletrack that would be dry. That means that we'd mostly be on fire roads, but around here, that means the riding can get pretty technical!
    Out of the eight of us riding, there were 2 fs geared riders, and the rest on single speeds. Although Tony does ride fixed off road as well, I was the lone fixie on the day.
    The ride did not disappoint. The climbs were super hard, since the fire roads were washed out and very rutted, there was a bunch of mud bogs on the flat dirt roads, and the singletrack we went on was rocky, steep, and had exposed water bars galore.
    I survived, only going down once- on a climb, no less! Stupid ruts...
    We did have a nice crash to witness, as one of our group went over the bars into a huge (and foul smelling,) mud hole. "Man, that s41+ smells like mud!"
    Great group of guys. I really had a good time riding with them, and will happily do it again. I mean, how often do you get to ride awesome trails off road with a Welsh tri-geek (and fellow former Rugby player,) who has all sorts of insulting things to say about Catherine Zeta-Jones? For the record, I still wouldn't turn her away...
    So, on to the bike. I can't express how amazed I am by the ride quality. The workmanship, as has already been stated, is top notch. But the ride is incredible! Granted, this is my first custom, but it far exceeded my expectations. The bike felt like I had been riding it for years. Fit is ideal, and Brad nailed the geometry. I'm not sure how you design a bike to handle as smoothly and stable as it does, even while trying to keep it together on a rocky, rutted downhill, yet turns on a dime. The front wheel is so much easier to loft than on the Karate Monkey. This bike is, to cull up a cliché, downright flickable. Climbing is outstanding, whether in the saddle or out. I'm using a slightly taller gear on this, and although the motor was a bit lagging, the frame handled the climbs with aplomb. Wily certainly did a great job designing this bike for fixed gear use. not waggle in the back, but still soaked up the rough stuff quite nicely.
    Oh, and for those of you who think that all rigid forks ride alike, let me tell you that you're dead wrong. Did this fork take up hits like my White Bros.? Of course not. But the difference between the Monkey's fork and this one was night and day.
    I had a great time, the bike got really dirty on it's first ride, and no sensitive trails were harmed. Top that all off with a great Philly cheesesteak at Philly Frank's (along with every Eagles fan in North San Diego, I think,) and I'd call that an outstanding first day with the new bike!

    the los
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    Whiskey is my yoga.

    dongerparty.com

  2. #2
    Who turned out the lights
    Reputation: Francis Buxton's Avatar
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    Good lookin' bike, nice ride report.

    I just put the fixed wheel into the Monkey. It's been a while since I've ridden fixed offroad, and I was starting to miss it. Hopefully it will stay cold enough around here for me to put it to use...

  3. #3
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    Volvo 850T?

    Nice bike!!!
    Front Range Forum Moderator

  4. #4
    rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by sslos
    Top that all off with a great Philly cheesesteak at Philly Frank's (along with every Eagles fan in North San Diego, I think,) and I'd call that an outstanding first day with the new bike!

    the los
    sslos,

    Philly cheesesteak in San Diego! No sh*t! I'm in the Philly burbs and I've eaten hundreds of those yummy cheese wiz & onion loaded puppies. Post ride munchy extaordinaire!! My GF's (girlfriend, NOT Gary Fisher!) brother-in-law is the owner of Pat's Steaks in South Philly. Funny thing, his name is Frank (like Phily Frank)!

    E-A-G-L-E-S GO EAGLES!!!

    Anyway...

    Great review, glad to hear of some Wily ride info even thought the only fixie I ride is an old Scwhinn track bike on the road. Like I've stated before, Wily, Curtlo and Walt are all on my short list for a gearie unless I find a classified or eBay used steel bargain.

  5. #5
    Occasionally engaged…
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    What are frame angles and fork rake?

    Quote Originally Posted by sslos
    So, on to the bike. I can't express how amazed I am by the ride quality. The workmanship, as has already been stated, is top notch. But the ride is incredible! Granted, this is my first custom, but it far exceeded my expectations.
    What's the seat tube angle, head tube angle, fork rake, and trail?

    For all the custom frames/forks that are listed and planned on this forum, you would think it would become pretty common to list the critical frame dimensions. Why would you go custom if your don't care about them.? "Parts are parts" as the saying goes, but what makes a custom bike special is in the frame (and fork if you lean towards firm-handling machines).

  6. #6
    hispanic mechanic
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    850GLT, actually...

    Quote Originally Posted by 2melow
    Volvo 850T?

    Nice bike!!!
    Thanks! And good call on our car!

    the los
    Whiskey is my yoga.

    dongerparty.com

  7. #7
    hispanic mechanic
    Reputation: sslos's Avatar
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    O.k.,

    Quote Originally Posted by PeT
    What's the seat tube angle, head tube angle, fork rake, and trail?

    For all the custom frames/forks that are listed and planned on this forum, you would think it would become pretty common to list the critical frame dimensions. Why would you go custom if your don't care about them.? "Parts are parts" as the saying goes, but what makes a custom bike special is in the frame (and fork if you lean towards firm-handling machines).
    Ido particularly care about geometry, which is a large part of why I got a custom. However, I don't know how many people here are all that interested. But since you asked,
    TT-24.1"
    ST-16.5"
    HT-72 deg.
    ST-73.5 deg.
    BB height (with Nanoraptors) 12.3"
    I don't recall the rake and trail off the top of my head, but I'll post 'em after the next time I talk to Brad.
    The other thing to consider when looking at a custom v. production frame is tubing material, diameter, wall thickness, and any manipulation. No doubt Brad's choices here, accounting for my riding style, weight, and the fact that I ride mostly fixed, are a good part of why the bike handles so well.

    the los
    Whiskey is my yoga.

    dongerparty.com

  8. #8

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    Man, that really looks like it turned out sweetly - any chance of posting some pics of the full build after a wash? Wily is rising to the top of my shortlist for a custom frame - great top hear yet more positive reports on the ride and the experience.

    Thanks,

    Sam

  9. #9

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    crank length?

    Are those 175mm? Nice ride. I think I'm going to try the fixie thing on my spot.

    Holg

  10. #10
    hispanic mechanic
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    There's actually a post about it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolo
    Man, that really looks like it turned out sweetly - any chance of posting some pics of the full build after a wash? Wily is rising to the top of my shortlist for a custom frame - great top hear yet more positive reports on the ride and the experience.

    Thanks,

    Sam
    But what the heck? Here's another shot...
    Thanks for the complements! I'd definitely recommend them.

    the los
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    Whiskey is my yoga.

    dongerparty.com

  11. #11
    hispanic mechanic
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    Yup, 175mm...

    Quote Originally Posted by Holg
    Are those 175mm? Nice ride. I think I'm going to try the fixie thing on my spot.

    Holg
    Normally, I'd prolly want to run 170s, but Brad gave me a fairly high BB as requested, and I had these cranks in a parts box. Suntour XC Pros are just too nice to sit in a box!
    I had no problems on Sun. with hitting pedals, and believe me, there were ample opportunities! The difference between the 180mm cranks/ ~11.25" BB height on the Karate Monkey, and the 175mm cranks/12.3" BB on the Wily was huge. There were a few times that I thought for sure I was going to strike a pedal and go a55 over tea kettle.
    Try fixed on your Spot if you get the chance. I'd recommend a flattish, non-technical ride for the first couple of times. If you like it, you'd be amazed at the stuff you can ride!
    Good luck,

    the los
    Whiskey is my yoga.

    dongerparty.com

  12. #12

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    Thanks Los, must have missed it the first time 'round - definitely looks very nice. One question, the bottom of the fork looks very thin, and I'm sure this makes for a nice smooth ride, but how do you find the flex under braking?

    Sam

  13. #13
    hispanic mechanic
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    Some flex...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolo
    Thanks Los, must have missed it the first time 'round - definitely looks very nice. One question, the bottom of the fork looks very thin, and I'm sure this makes for a nice smooth ride, but how do you find the flex under braking?

    Sam
    I notice some flex if I'm really rocking the bike hard fore and aft with the brake locked, but I don't notice and at all while riding.

    the los
    Whiskey is my yoga.

    dongerparty.com

  14. #14

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    OK, that's reassuring. The reason I ask is that someone here mentioned a little while ago an article by Sheldon Brown which basically said comliant rigid forks and disc brakes did not go well together due to excessive fore/aft flex being created. Nice to hear you're not having such problems.

    One question on the head badge - I remember back in the early days of your putting this bike together, you were talking with AppleSSeed about some custom Wily head tube badges from Jen Green - is this her work? I'm digging your paint scheme as well, I'm thinking about a little darker blue and creamier cream panels (with an ST panel as well) and dark red writing for mine which ought to be later this year - getting a little ahead of myself though, got to have the money first.... :-(

    Again, lovely ride, glad it's turned out as you'd hoped!


    Sam

  15. #15
    hispanic mechanic
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    Jen Greene...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolo
    OK, that's reassuring. The reason I ask is that someone here mentioned a little while ago an article by Sheldon Brown which basically said comliant rigid forks and disc brakes did not go well together due to excessive fore/aft flex being created. Nice to hear you're not having such problems.

    One question on the head badge - I remember back in the early days of your putting this bike together, you were talking with AppleSSeed about some custom Wily head tube badges from Jen Green - is this her work? I'm digging your paint scheme as well, I'm thinking about a little darker blue and creamier cream panels (with an ST panel as well) and dark red writing for mine which ought to be later this year - getting a little ahead of myself though, got to have the money first.... :-(

    Again, lovely ride, glad it's turned out as you'd hoped!


    Sam
    The headbadge is indeed her work. This frame was originally supposed to have a ST panel as well, but Spectrum didn't think it would look right with the short ST.
    I gave Brad the paint sceme that I wanted, but I also asked him to let Spectrum have their creative eye decide on the final details.
    I haven't really seen the article by SB that you're talking about, but I understand the concern. I've put together disc- and v-braked 'cross bikes with really compliant forks, and they howl like mad and vibrate, regardless of what you do. This fork isn'tquite that flexy!
    Thanks again, and good luck with your own project. I have utter confidence recommending Wily.

    the los
    Whiskey is my yoga.

    dongerparty.com

  16. #16
    Kill your... television
    Reputation: motoman711's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sslos
    The headbadge is indeed her work. This frame was originally supposed to have a ST panel as well, but Spectrum didn't think it would look right with the short ST.
    I gave Brad the paint sceme that I wanted, but I also asked him to let Spectrum have their creative eye decide on the final details.
    I haven't really seen the article by SB that you're talking about, but I understand the concern. I've put together disc- and v-braked 'cross bikes with really compliant forks, and they howl like mad and vibrate, regardless of what you do. This fork isn'tquite that flexy!
    Thanks again, and good luck with your own project. I have utter confidence recommending Wily.

    the los
    Hey Los, I talked to Brad yesterday about my next bike. May I inquire about how much extra your paint job costs over the base one color?

  17. #17
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    Sweet....

    Quote Originally Posted by motoman711
    Hey Los, I talked to Brad yesterday about my next bike. May I inquire about how much extra your paint job costs over the base one color?
    Hey B.,
    Glad to hear you haven't given up on the project!

    A.
    MTBR is serious stuff.
    You never get better until you get out of your comfort zone.

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